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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
Alamy Stock Photo Less than half of the complaints to Aer Lingus and Ryanair were upheld, with investigations still ongoing.
Complaints

Aviation watchdog obtains €348,000 in refunds for passengers in 2022

1,253 complaints were made against Aer Lingus and 830 were made against Ryanair.

AVAITION SECTOR WATCHDOG, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) obtained €348,000 in refunds and compensation for disgruntled air passengers last year.

According to the 2022 CAR annual report, last year it received 2,302 valid complaints over airlines with complaints – with long delays and cancellation making up the bulk of the complaints at 2,221.

CAR received 1,178 complaints over cancellations and 1,043 over long delays.

The airline industry made a strong return after Covid-19 shutdowns of 2021 and 2020, the number of valid complaints last year increased by 55% from 1,479 in 2021 to 2,302 in 2022.

The report states that by 30 January of this year, 600 of these valid complaints have been concluded – with 567 of those upheld.

The report states that over €120,000 was obtained in refunds following CAR intervention and more than €228,000 in compensation was awarded to passengers in respect of the 567 upheld complaints.

The report shows that CAR received an “unprecedented” number of complaints in the second half of 2022 with over 78 per cent of the total complaints received in the second half of the year, an average of 19 complaints per day.

As the two biggest airline operators in Ireland, Aer Lingus and Ryanair accounted for 66 per cent of complaints made in 2022. The figures show that 1,253 complaints were made against Aer Lingus and 830 were made against Ryanair.

The report shows of the 1,253 complaints made against Aer Lingus, 146 were upheld, 297 not sustained with investigations ongoing in 810.

In relation to Ryanair, 161 complaints were upheld, 224 were not sustained and investigations were ongoing in 445.

On complaints made by persons with reduced mobility, the report states that “during 2022, after ongoing discussions and on foot of complaints received in previous years, we obtained a commitment from Aer Lingus to retrofit over 100 aircraft to ensure that on- board wheelchairs are available on most of their passenger flights. This is a very positive step towards greater accessibility”.

The report also confirms that CAR administered 507 claims by customers of collapsed entities reported in 2021 who last year received €844,180 in refunds from insolvency protection Bonds held by the Commission, the Traveller’s Protection Fund and the refund credit note scheme.

Last year, the Commission recorded a surplus of €48,000. The Commission’s costs totalled €4.69m as its net income amounted to €4.14m.

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